30/06/2009 | by Onboard
So not only will you be able to check out the hottest new clothes coming straight out of Reykjavik, but you can also hear the best new music that Iceland has to offer! Each month Nikita will be releasing a new video, as produced by Ben Fee, alongside introducing a group or artist that Kimi Records represent.
To kick off the collaboration, Nikita has a number of videos featuring the team girls in the latest Spring Summer collection for 2009 accompanied by music from Borko, Hjaltalín, Retro Stefson and Morðingjanir. You can find out more about each in the more in-depth Q & A with Baldvin Esra of Kimi Records.
If you like what you see, check out Nikita’s website and if you like what you hear, all the music will also be available through the site gogoyoko.com
Check out all new releases and news direct from Kimi Records HERE kimirecords.net
There’s no better combination that fusing great style with great music.
Hey Baldvin, so…Nikita and Kimi Records hook up. How? When? Why?
Nikita needs music, Kimi has music. Kimi needs publicity, Nikita has that. Geiri, marketing director and I were in the same high school also. That helps. The work started last fall and we finally signed a contract and the summer videos will be premiered very soon.
Kimi Records – distribution company and record label?
Yebb, distribution in Iceland and a record label in Iceland and the rest of the world. We are focusing on alternative music and doing it in my opinion quite well. We’ve been operating since September 2007 and still going strong in spite of recession and stuff.
You say that Kimi is an alternative label doing ‘unmainstream stuff’ – what do you mean or define as being unmainstream with the artists on your books?
We do not release albums with the intention to sell a lot of albums. We release albums because we think they are good and have something to offer to people. Of course we hope that people buy them, we don’t make money another way but the primary rule is always the quality of the music, not its sellability.
There’s quite a varied selection of artists to be viewed on your website, from super mellow atmospheric sounds to frantic blood lust up-tempo rock, what’s your policy?
The policy as I mentioned before is that the music is good in our opinion, also that the people behind it are good people and honest. That is vital, I don’t want to work with people I don’t like or don’t like me.
What do you look for when searching for new artists?
Passion, Love, Intellect and Skills. The same qualities you want in your friends.
As you’re selective in ‘choosing’ the artists on your books, where do you go to check them out?
I check out concerts first and foremost. In order to make good music you will have to perform it well live. I also check demos closely.
What are the top places to go see new bands / musicians in Iceland?
Hemmi & Valdi is a very small venue for small, up and coming bands. Also Grand Rokk, Karamba og Sódóma Reykjavík. It really doesn’t matter where people play, as long as they are good and the place is fitting for the music.
As a rule you don’t generally accept demos as a way of being influenced to take on an artist, what can a band / individual do to grab your attention?
It can try to force-feed me a Demo. I just put this up so people that are only searching for some label doesn’t send me stuff. If someone really wants to work with Kimi, he will find a way.
With just 300,000 people living in Iceland, what proportion do you think you will have on your label by 2010? You must know everyone into music there right?
We will have 0,1%. There aren’t a huge number of people behind the artists and bands that exist here and we are familiar with most of them. It is a small market and a small circle of people and that’s maybe why we manage to work with whom we want, they always know someone that has worked with us and it usually goes well.
How did Kimi Records begin? Were you in the music business anyway, what did you do?
It started as a joke between me and Borko. But when push came to shove I really wanted to work with music and musicians. I was in college when it started. It was all a very natural process.
What are your plans for Kimi Records – expansion, global integration, Icelandic music to infiltrate the masses….
No masses, but expansion into new markets, strengthening the Icelandic market, making new fans, releasing new bands and so on…
What have been your major musical influences before Kimi Records and what 5 artists on your books right now would you recommend?
Any music style. My major musical influence? I really don’t know, they are so many. I used to love Radiohead and Beck in my younger years, now the taste has expanded a little bit and other bands have maybe a higher rank for me.
I recommend people check out…
Swords of Chaos, we will be releasing there first LP next fall. They are fucking awesome.
Borko is a friend and a great musician signed with Kimi and Morr Music in Berlin. It’s a kind of electronic music but with live instruments and vocals. Borko concerts are highly recommended because he manages to evoke stadium rock feel within a small venue
Hjaltalín are probably the most promising band in Iceland, if not Europe. They are great, great people, great musicians and the lead singer is a very prominent composer. Their arrangements and music is quality shit.
Retro Stefson is a youthful and vibrant band from Reykjavík. They are very talented and their music ranges from disco to techno with a mix of indierock and reggae. Concerts with them make you smile for days.
Morðingjarnir are a 3 piece punk band and dear friends. It is filthy, horny, honest and just really really good. They have new album coming out next winter. It is in Icelandic and foreigners really don’t understand the brilliance with that band. Probably my favorite band.
Thanks for the interview Baldvin!
The Nikita Crew